India skipper MS Dhoni has led his team to three world titles in cricket. A skilled player and an able leader aside, it is his clever tactics that have impressed several fans including former India batting legend Sunil Gavaskar.
Speaking to NDTV a day after India won the Champions Trophy title, Gavaskar said that Dhoni's gut instinct is one of his stellar qualities. "Some of his decisions are hard to understand by cricketing logic but they come off. And I think that is what gut instinct is all about. Captains need to go by their instinct," he said. "The beauty about Mahendra Singh Dhoni is that he has a fantastic gut instinct and he acts on it. More often than not, it works for him." (Also read: How Team India partied all night)
Dhoni, during the course of the Champions Trophy, made several decisions which appeared surprising including letting Ishant Sharma bowl the 18th over in the final against England, despite being expensive in the match. "In the flow of the tournament, Ishant had the knack of picking up wickets after bowling a couple of bad deliveries. That is exactly what happened. He was hit for a six, bowled two wides and then he took wickets of consecutive deliveries." Ishant was responsible for the dismissals of Eoin Morgan and Ravi Bopara at a crucial juncture, leading to a collapse. (Related read: Five Indians, led by Dhoni, in ICC Team of the Tournament)
Decisions like this have been questioned on several occasions when they have failed to come off but Gavaskar says he does not understand the need to question Dhoni's motives. " Here is a captain who has brought glory to the country in all formats and yet, there have been so many allegations leveled at him. I think it has hurt him. We as cricketers make a lot of sacrifices for our country and try to do our best," said Gavaskar, adding that the manner in which Dhoni jumped after Sunday's win showed what the triumph meant to the otherwise composed skipper.